Because of the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had up to this point, we’ve been able to keep the rabbits on pasture – something both we and they have enjoyed. The rabbits, four New Zealands and a Silver Fox, enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and all the grass/leaves/weeds they can reach in the three “tractors” (portable shelters similar to a chicken tractor) that we built last year.
The New Zealands have been in tractors since they were small kits, but the Silver Fox buck is a new addition and he’s still getting used to his housing. The NZs know the routine – we move the tractors twice a day to new pasture, not only so they have new grass to eat, but also so that they’re in a poop-free zone (though relative to chicken and duck poop, rabbit poop isn’t bad at all). They have shelters inside the tractors – plastic storage bins with an entry cut into them – and they spend a lot of time on top of them, watching their surroundings. Sometimes they get crazy in their tractors and we find the bins moved around and overturned.
It’s been cold now in the morning, and winter has seemingly (finally) arrived. Overnight, the ducks’ wading pool has grown a crust of half-inch thick ice on top, and the rabbits’ water bottles have frozen solid. We remove their bottles in the morning, melt the ice with hot water, and fill with warm water. One of the Red-Eyed White (REW) does comes running when she sees the refilled water bottles and immediately gets a warm(ish) drink from it. We know it’s only a matter of time before it will be too cold for them to be in the tractors, primarily because the water won’t stay liquid in the bottles for long, and we’ll have to move them into cages in a sheltered area. Until then, we hope to get a few more days for them on pasture, where they have grass underfoot and sun on their fur.